Friday, March 2, 2018
Vintage Fridays: Nelson Briles, 1978 Topps #717
Nellie Briles, as I've noted before, is one of two Orioles to share my August 5 birthday. (The other is John Wasdin, a journeyman reliever who pitched in 26 games for the O's in 2001.) Topps scrambled to paint Briles into Baltimore's orange and black threads for their 1978 set; he'd spent most of the 1977 season as a Texas Ranger, joining the Birds on September 19 and making a pair of relief appearances. Nelson's 14-year big league career came to an end in Charm City in 1978. He started eight games, relieved in eight others, and posted a 4-4 record with a 4.64 ERA. Despite those modest results, he had a long and accomplished career, totaling 129 wins, 112 losses, and a 3.44 ERA. He was also a talented singer, often performing in night clubs during the offseason and entertaining teammates over the summer months. How's that for a two-way player?